On Monday, Jammu and Kashmir reported 442 more covid-19 cases while two more precious lives were lost. In last 20 days alone, 5623 fresh covid-19 cases have been added to the rising tally. Among them, 1129 were travelers. In other words, 20% of the cases were imported. The first wave which peaked last year was blamed to extraneous factors while a mutant strain of the virus that is said to more infectious is probably driving the second even as authorities refuse to buy it and continue to blame the complacency to covid-19 behavior for the contemporary spread.
The tourist arrival continues to go largely unchecked and in last few days two tourists have already died while several others are admitted o hospitals. Astonishingly, as per the report, both these tourists had tested negative at airport which put into question the efficiency of the test done on arrival via air. If reports are believed, those coming via road are not subjected to any tests. In other words, the virus is given free run and as days proceed, the cases will only increase.
In such a scenario, the more community transmission should not come as a surprise as the confirmed cases surely would have come in contact with many people before their infection status was confirmed.
It is not only the restrictions that make work, life, play, travel safe for people that are well within the government’s remit but ensuring tests of at least those coming here or at least making latest negative RTPCR test mandatory to be carried for entry as other states or UT have done are well within the domain of the administration. There is still no action on restricting the use of public transport of the overcrowding capacity nor are any steps been taken to control the jostling at some of the gardens here or crowded markets. This seems necessary, and if anything, it is already too delayed. There is need to be proactive and take measures which will stem the spread. Wait and watch policy could prove detrimental; something the place like J&K can hardly afford to bear in view of the health infrastructure and manpower it possesses to deal with any demanding situation. There is need to test, track and isolate infected to arrest a raging wave that is threatening to go out of control if steps are not taken especially when caution remains pivotal to saving livelihood also.